Friday 28 June 2024

A Postcard A Day - Friday 28 June 2024 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely peeps,

I'm glad to say I am safely home again. So apart from catching up on my sleep (I traveled through the night) I also did a few washing machine cycles and I went to the post office to collect my mail. There were many postcards and one of them is this one:

It was sent to me by my friend Keren who has spent a week on Skye after driving over this very bridge. 

They had stopped off in the Lake District on the way up. She says they took out a boat to Rum and Canna and they saw hundreds of puffins and seals, two porposes and a mink whale. 

This is what I found on the Internet:

Canna, Rum, Eigg and Muck are known collectively as “The Small Isles” and are within easy reach of Oban. Lying between Mull and Skye, they are a virtually guaranteed stopover point. Canna, especially, is a beautiful island on which to spend a whole day and practically guarantees sea eagle sightings.

Canna Known as “The Jewel of the Hebrides”. 
(Photo from the Internet)

Canna is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is a very wild and remote island with an amazing diversity of wildlife both on its beaches and in woodland. The island hosts a puffin colony and rare butterflies, corncrakes and wild flowers such as orchids.

Rum: A dramatic island owned by Nature Conservancy. Nestled in Loch Scresort you are surrounded by splendid mountain scenery and can visit Kinloch Castle, an eccentric folly, completed for Sir George Bullough in 1901. Rum was the island where sea eagles were re-introduced to the Western Isles in 1975 after being wiped out in 1916 and is also home to red deer, seals, otters and birds such as Manx Shearwaters.

The stamp is a Scottish stamp with their blue and white flag as well as a picture of a seal:
A very beautiful stamp.

Talking about Skye, During the journey from Italy to Spain I read a book set on the isle of Skye called The Talisker Dead by JM Dalgliesh:

There's a whole series of these D.I. Duncan McAdam mysteries and this is the first I have read. I am going to read them all as I loved the protagonist and the descriptions of the island. I have never been to Skye but reading the book I could imagine I was there.

In my Tuesday blog I told you about Italy. Then on Tuesday morning I got the 5 o'clock train from Finale Ligure to Ventimiglia (the border with France). There I got a train to Nice, where I only had 10 minutes to find my train to Marseille. I couldn't get reservations on the intercity trains, so I had to use crowded commuter trains that stop at every village and have hard seats. In Marseille I could relax for an hour and a half before getting the train to Narbonne at lunch time. I didn't have lunch anywhere as my DIL had packed me several goodies to eat, so I was OK. From Narbonne one last train to Perpignan, which is near the French-Spanish border. It's blisteringly hot and because of my problems with internet access, I hadn't booked a hotel. Luckily when I walked out of the station, 

there was a delightful hotel just opposite!

Inside was very modern and clean, with a coffee machine in the lobby next to an ice machine and a faucet for drinking water, carbonated or still. I was very pleased.
I then went for a walk into Perpignan. Perpignan is very colourful and has
Lots of tall palm trees.
Lovely old buildings.
Then a large square (Place de Catalogne) with the FNAC department store.
 I enjoyed the statue of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, Dalí en Levitation, outside FNAC on the place de Catalogne and facing towards the city’s train station, la Gare de Perpignan.

The statue, which was put in place in 2017, was originally created in 2000 by the two artists, Sabine et Eric, known as ‘Les Pritchards.’ It was inspired by Dali’s 1965 painting, Le mystique de la gare de Perpignan, and was originally placed on the roof of the station.

I found a restaurant on that square:
An Italian restaurant (Le Napoli) where I had my evening meal. I had sea bass:

With a glass of white wine, and for dessert I had stracciatelli ice cream drowned in creme de Menthe liquor. Yummy or what!

I'm going to leave you for now. I'm off to Annie's blog A Stitch In Time. 
More of my trip on my Tuesday blog. 

Of course it wouldn't be Friday Smiles if I didn't put some funnies out at the end.

In the meantime: Keep smiling!


This last one is not a joke, just thought it was beautiful....

Tuesday 25 June 2024

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 25 June 2024 - T for Dalmatians and trains

Hello lovely girls,

 I'm on my way home! I should be traveling through southern France now and I hope to be in Spain on Wednesday. 

Again I have to show you a postcard that I have on my computer as I haven't got any at hand while traveling.

This is a card that I have sent somebody. I once bought a box of 100 postcards of The New Yorker front pages through the years. This is one of them:

It's by Peter Arno. 

Wikipedia writes:
Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr., known professionally as Peter Arno, was an American cartoonist. He contributed cartoons and 101 covers to The New Yorker from 1925, the magazine's first year, until 1968, the year of his death. In 2015, New Yorker contributor Roger Angell described him as "the magazine's first genius". Wikipedia

 Born into privilege in 1904, educated at Hotchkiss and Yale, Curtis Arnoux Peters Jr. found fame as cartoonist Peter Arno, satirizing the New York elite he knew so well while remaining one of society’s most dashing figures.

Arno died on February 22, 1968 at the age of 64. Reporters called Pat Arno, asking for an anecdote or two about her famous father. She simply replied, “None are repeatable.” 

Vanity Fair has published an article about him. Here is the link if you are interested.

As far as I'm concerned, what can I show you. I'm in central Italy:

I managed to catch up with my friend, who I have known for at least 45 years (if not more). We met when she was a patient in the hospital where I worked. She is English so  we quickly became friends and have been ever since.
She picked me up in the car and took me to the market in a village called Fara Filiorum Petri (an impressive name):

A lot of the stalls had already packed up as we were late. I think this is the old city wall. Here's another photo (from the Internet):
Then we went to have a coffee in this place:

I don't know if those flags are always there or whether they were there because of the soccer championships.
And my coffee, a beautifully executed cappucino, will be my ticket to the T-Party:

Then we went to the village where my friend lives. 

It's a very characteristic village with lots of stairs rather than streets as it is built on the side of a mountain. 

We parked the car and then walked. 

To get to her house we had to negotiate quite a few stairs.
She cooked me a delicious lunch and we had a wonderful day.

I’ve been staying at my son’s house. They have a lovely terrace. Here a photo with my son and grandson:
You can see I’m wearing my cardigan. It was cold that evening and we had some rain. Look at the threatening clouds:

They had organised a little ‘do’ on Saturday night and we needed some extra plates. My son and I walked over to the other house they have, to get some more plates. They call it the little house as it’s built in the city walls. Because it’s small, it’s easy to heat and they use it in winter.
Here is my son opening the door.
Now, Monday evening, I’m travelling again. I had to get the 5 a.m. train this morning! My son was on an early shift so he drove me to Pescara station:

My journey today was to the Ligurian coast, not far from the French border. There were four train changes in all and this was one of them:

It was in Piacenza. I had enough time to go to the bar opposite the station and have a well deserved glass of wine.

I am now in a hotel in Finale Ligure Marina. My room/balcony looks out over a castle/fortress and the other way is a sea view. Not bad…
Tomorrow I’m going to try to get through the south of France. For some reason my internet roaming doesn’t work in France. (My provider says it should, but it doesn’t) It means that I won’t be able to do 
any comments. But I’ll do my best on Wednesday.

That’s all from me. 
Happy T-Day all!

Friday 21 June 2024

A Postcard A Day - Friday 21 June 2024 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely peeps. 

I'm still on my travels and have run out of postcards to show you. Luckily I had this postcard image on my computer. It's a card I have sent to somebody so I'm not showing you a stamp

The card shows the eight provinces of Andalucia, which is an independent region with its own government. Every province is named for its capital city. I live in Granada province, but not in Granada city. Apart from Huelva and Cádiz, I have visited every province and every capital.

I'm still in Italy having a lovely time catching up with old friends. I plan to leave aerly on Sunday morning on the night train to Milan but I haven't been able to book my couchette online. It doesn't seem to work. Very frustrating. Most trains are reservation only. We'll see (But I'm not a 'happy bunny' at the mo).

I went to visit my old friend Carmelina the other day. She cooked lunch for me:
Pasta with home-made sauce. In Italy, the pasta dish is the first course. After that comes the meat (or cheese) and a side dish. In this case I didn't photograph the meat but I do want to show you the vegetable dish of aubergines (egg plant) with tomatoes and cheese in the oven:
In the afternoon we met up with another friend and we drove to the coast, to a place called San Vito.
That piece of coast is famous for its 'trabocchi', those fishing huts on stilts.

Wikipedia says: The Trabocchi Coast, which corresponds to the coastal stretch Adriatic of province of Chieti (Abruzzo), is a 70-kilometer coast from Ortona to San Salvo, in Italy. It comprises a number of coves and reefs below the hills that end at the Adriatic Sea marked by the spread of Trabucco – fishing machines on piles. Many of the towns on the Coast maintain their own characteristics and traditions.
In this area they are found all along the coastline.

This one is also in San Vito (photo from the Internet):

My son goes to work at 2 and comes home at 11 pm this week, so yesterday my DIL and I went for a walk and a drink in the main plaza of the town (Guardiagrele):
We had a drink, and surprisingly, we got tapas with our drinks!
I took another photo of the building opposite:
Not a very good photo. There is a large church on the left so I had to take the picture from an angle.

Here is a photo from the Internet. We were sat where the orange sunshades are, left of the church:

I hope you have all had a lot to smile about. I certainly had. As per usual, I will put some funnies at the end.

I have just removed a Fools and Horses funny about the word 'woke'. As I had no idea what it meant, it seemed funny to me. I have since learnt what it meant and have removed it. (Not funny).
Instead, let me add this sunset from my son's terrace:
Te Gran Sasso mountains in the distance and the foothillks of the Maiella in the forground.
Have a great weekend and...
Keep smiling!